LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)-- Gordon Perry, the oldest resident at Fox Ridge Chenal Assisted Living Home, is celebrating his 100th birthday.
He spent his career as an inventor, and some of his inventions are part of The Chip Collection showcased in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
As a businessman and inventor, Gordon Perry has seen a lot in his 100 years.
Born in 1912, Poppy, as he's known to his family and friends, was an innovator. He says he helped develop an important device used in military detection.
"Magnetic Airborne Detection and it worked basically the same way that a compass works when you hold a piece of iron close to it. A compass will point to the iron instead of the north."
Perry says the idea originated when he began manipulating video cameras to improve their function and capability.
"Being an inventor I figured out ways of making my home movie camera do tricks like the professionals."
Eventually, he was hired by the company that is now Texas Instruments, and his device was sold to the military. Perry says his invention was then placed on naval ships to help destroy enemy warcraft.
"When it passed over any kind of iron down in the water it would give a signal."
Perry says this would Alert Naval officers of a threat below.
"The Navy said that they sank 28 submarines the first week they used this device."
Perry went on to secure more than 70 patents for various innovations. Mainly detection devices. One of his inventions even led to the creation of silicone chips found in most technology today.
Gordon Perry conceived the idea of using a magnetic fluid clutch as a meter movement. Bo Olson added the idea of using two clutches in a push-pull version. The original patent was issued to Olson and Perry. Work began in 1948, and the first working model of the RD-47 was finished in the spring of 1950, and production began in the fall of 1951. Texas Instruments built 200 RD-47's. With the Korean War demand, Texas Instruments contracted with Dalmo Victor for production design refinements and production of the RD-47.